JLF FIRM ARTICLES AND NEWS

Can You Sue for a Dog Bite in California?

Being bitten by an animal can be a truly harrowing experience, and it may result in damages that, if left unpaid, might require a lawsuit to recover for damages. According to The Tribune of San Luis Obispo, California is the #1 state in the nation for dog bite injuries, according to data provided by State Farm Insurance. In 2017 there were some 488 dog bite claims filed with State Farm Insurance in California of 3,600 nationally, accounting for nearly $18.7 million in payments.

Whether you can sue for a dog bite in California depends upon a variety of factors, so keep reading to learn what they are and under what circumstances you can recover financially for a dog bite.

Dog owners in California are generally legally responsible for injuries caused by their pets

In the State of California, pet owners are generally liable for the injuries and damages that result from a bite by their pet. Some states have rules related to dangerous animals, and a dog may need to have been known to bite or be dangerous for the owner to be liable. This is not the case in California.

According to the California Legislature, the owner of a dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person bitten by their dog, regardless of former viciousness or the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s viciousness. This liability is in place whether the person is bitten in a public place or when they are lawfully in a private place.

Damages for dog bites in California include economic damages

If the owner of a dog that bit you has refused to compensate you for injury and damages, it may be necessary to sue for the damages caused by the dog bite. Knowing what types of damages are available to you is important to recovering them, and a Pomona personal injury lawyer can help you with this.

Economic damages include:

  • Lost wages
  • Earnings potential impact
  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Injury to your pet

Non-economic damages may also be available for dog bites in California

If you have filed an insurance claim or sued for damages on your dog bite, there may be additional non-economic damages available for pain and suffering. Many injuries cause damage that goes well beyond financial losses. If you have permanent disfigurement from your injuries or the viciousness of the attack was substantial, emotional distress damages may also be available.

A California personal injury attorney can help you sue for a dog bite in California

Given the importance of recovering your damages and moving forward with your life, hiring a personal injury attorney is a great way to allow an experienced professional to minimize your stress and handle the recovery for you. Taking a party unwilling to pay into court requires knowledge of the law and also local process, with a local attorney having the ability to help you navigate.


Reach out to a Pomona dog bite accident attorney today if you’ve been bitten by a dog and need to sue for your damages.